Über Ibrahim Ferrer
Ibrahim Ferrer was a 72-year-old Cuban crooner who came out of retirement to embrace international stardom. His 1999 solo debut found him fronting the spectacular musicians' collective, Buena Vista Social Club. Though the band plays mostly traditional Cuban dances, they've been known to explore hybrid forms as well -- on some tracks, for example, an electric guitar decorates a marriage of piano jazz and stately danzon rhythm. Ferrer's voice is full of rich timbres and elegant vibrato, carrying within it deep emotion that always surfaces, even in his most understated moments. Sadly, Ferrer passed away in a Havana hospital on August 6, 2005, at age 78, marking the end of an era for many of his fans and collaborators. Though he died three weeks before the scheduled end of the recording session, Ferrer's posthumous album of boleros, Mi Sueno, was released in April, 2007. To complete the album, producers used demos of his voice on several tracks, though that didn't seem to affect the quality of the critically acclaimed release.